July News Brief

Greetings Further Shore friends,

Although summer was long in coming this year, it has finally arrived fully, and we are loving it! July is dressed up with high summer’s greenery and a dizzying array of wildflowers. I’ve lived here for 34 years and never seen this many wildflowers. I’m guessing it was the snow! What a gift to have this beauty. While we are enjoying the “not shoveling” aspect of summer, daily temps are spiking into the 90’s and it is extremely dry and windy. This is a bit of a shock after our deep-snow winter and the below average temps of May and June. We keep an eye to the sky during this season and are mindful of the wildfire danger. {See our June newsletter for wildfire notes to help keep you and your home safe during this season.} Also on the home front, Olivia’s knee is healing nicely at week #6 from her TPLO surgery. Just 6 more weeks to go until she can run and play again. We can’t wait and neither can she.

Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? It does seem like it’s time for summer fruits of all kinds, veggie burgers on the grill and roasted corn on the cob. I’m enjoying making things like summer ratatouille, marinated grilled veggies, and fresh spring rolls. What kind of summer food are you enjoying now? Great summer fare includes watermelon, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and citrus fruits. Eating lighter during these hot summer days will leave you with more energy for enjoying those outdoor activities. Have a happy summer everyone.

Now for the News:

  • This Month’s Special Day:  World Listening Day (July 18th) was established in honor of R. Murray Schafer. Born on July 18, 1933, Schafer was a Canadian composer and environmentalist who is seen as the founder of acoustic ecology. Listening is both an art and science that will enrich every life when practiced mindfully and consistently. It is not always easy to tune out the hustle and bustle of technology, street noise, or other background sounds. This day invites us to talk less and listen more; to take a nature walk simply to listen (don’t bring your tech devices along); or to find a quiet place and tune into the silence. This article about World Listening Day offers some interesting history about acoustic ecology and suggestions for celebrating the day. Happy Listening!
  • On the Blog:  Visit A,B,C’s for Living Well to brush up on easy to use skills to live well and support the ones you care for. Watch for “U” is for Understanding coming soon. You may also view the current, and all past newsletters here.
  • Palliative Care is Comfort Care:  The term ‘palliate’ means to ease, soothe, or alleviate. Palliative care is often thought of as a hospice service. While it is an important part of hospice, it can also be useful in a variety of other circumstances. Here are some facts to help you determine if you, or someone you care for can benefit from this kind of care.
  • Who Benefits from palliative care? Patients undergoing cancer treatment, post operative patients, or those in recovery from injuries or with chronic conditions  (i.e. fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, COPD, ME/CFS, diabetes, etc.) or serious illness such as heart or kidney disease will benefit from this kind of care. Providing comfort measures to reduce patient pain or distress has a goal to reduce uncomfortable symptoms and often will also result in expedited healing time.
  • Symptoms that indicate a need for this kind of careUncomfortable symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, fatigue, shortness of breath, depression, or anxiety negatively affect functionality and quality of life. Many of these symptoms can be eased with palliative measures.
  • Who provides this kind of care? – Palliative care is provided by specially trained doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, massage therapists, physical therapists, counselors, and others. They are able to assess and prescribe treatments to address various forms of discomfort for physical and psychological challenges.
  • DeliveryPalliative care can be delivered in nursing homes, hospitals, therapy offices, clinics, and at home. Most hospitals include a palliative team to offer consultations and recommendations for therapies to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms for patients. The team may include a chaplain or social worker to assist the patient and family members with understanding the difference between palliative care and curing interventions, or to provide guidance about appropriate care for the patient’s prognosis.
  • What is usually prescribed? – Palliative treatments for patients may include medications such as injections, IV’s, tablets, capsules, liquids, sublinguals, or suppositories. Treatment may also include massage, physical therapy, passive movement, dietary changes, radiation, surgery, emotional or spiritual support.
  • Palliative Care Naturally There are many natural remedies and methods to palliate uncomfortable symptoms. Functional medicine professionals, naturopaths, herbalists, Chinese Medical Doctors, physical, massage, or music therapists can assist with planning for protocols to best address symptoms.
  • Self-Administered Comfort There are palliative measures you can practice on your own including meditation, journaling, reflection, listening to soothing or inspirational music, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, or other gentle movement, mindfulness practice, expressing gratitude, or spending quiet time in nature.
  • Coverage – Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance policies may cover this kind of care. If you feel a need for comfort care it can’t hurt to inquire with your physician, cancer care team, or with your insurance provider!
  • Pandemic tidbit:  The University of Minnesota now estimates that 65 million people around the world may have Long Covid. Many experience what has been loosely termed, “brain fog.” This is a term that physician, Dr. Wesley Ely, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, believes minimizes a serious condition, and can leave patients feeling misunderstood, disbelieved, or stigmatized. In his perspective, the cognitive changes and life disruptions from “brain fog” are in actuality a brain or nervous system injury that can be diagnosed and treated. Cognitive retraining with programs like Brain HQ or other similar game-based systems, playing Sudoko, working crosswords, playing Scrabble, learning a new language, musical instrument, or embarking on a new hobby will help to support quality of life and function.
  • Quote of the Month:  “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.

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